LAKE GEORGE - When local students and staff return to school soon, they'll have a new superintendent on board.
Patrick Dee, serving as director of curriculum and instruction at Lake George Central since January, was elevated to interim superintendent of schools in late July.
He is temporarily replacing former superintendent of schools Mary Cahill, who abruptly resigned in July in a mutual agreement with the school board - an action that surprised many educators in the region. She resigned due to "irreconcilable differences" with the board, according to school documents, and was paid almost $86,000 to leave - soon after her three-year contract was not renewed by the school board. At that time, the board refused to reveal why it made that decision. The action puzzled many in the area, as Cahill was well-respected by other administrators in the region. At the time of her departure, she was earning $153,608 annually in her post.
Dee will serve in the interim post while the school board conducts a search for a new permanent superintendent, with the help of regional BOCES superintendent James Dexter.
A 1987 graduate of Lake George High, Dee is seeking to be chosen as the permanent superintendent of sschools, he said.
Dee graduated from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, receiving degrees in educational administration and earning certification as a school psychologist. Afterwards, Dee worked in the Fort Edward Central District in that latter role.
Subsequently he was hired by the Glens Falls School District to be principal at Sanford Street Elementary, a post he held for 10 years before being chosen as Lake George's director of curriculum and instruction. In that position, he replaced Mark Bessen, who moved on to become superintendent at Granville Central.
Dee, a Queensbury resident, has three children - daughter Gillian, 12; and sons Patrick, 12, and Brian, 7.
Dee said he has fond memories of his Lake George years. He was involved in football as well as band and the senior play, he said.
"It's great being back here - Lake George is a fantastic school district," he said. "Everybody is so incredibly positive," he said. "The culture and community here is truly unparalleled."
The reason, he said, stems from the character of those who've opted - and been selected - to teach at Lake George.
"Everybody supports one another," he continued. "The teachers here are life-long learners and they impart this belief system to the students."